2011 Detroit Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The midengine two-place coupe borrows design elements from 918 Spyder.
- The flywheel accumulator from 911 GT3 R Hybrid stores energy generated during braking.
- Porsche describes the car as "an experimental racing laboratory."
DETROIT — Described as "an experimental racing laboratory," the stunning Porsche 918 RSR, unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, combines the dramatic good looks of the earlier 918 Spyder with the technology of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid in a prototype racecar that aspires to emulate the legendary 1971 Porsche 917 short-tail coupe.
The 918 RSR is a two-place midengine coupe that is essentially a racing version of the 918 Spyder, fitted with flip-up doors, carbon-fiber body panels and a roof-mounted air intake. The car is painted liquid metal chrome blue with longitudinal stripes, and carries the number 22 — an homage to the Martini-liveried Porsche 917 that dominated the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 918 RSR's mid-mounted, direct-injected V8 delivers 563 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed racing transmission, with shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.
In addition, an electric motor is attached to each of the front wheels, enabling short bursts of up to 767 horsepower, thanks to the kinetic energy generated during braking and stored in the flywheel accumulator that is mounted next to the driver seat.
The minimalist cockpit consists of a single bucket seat, upholstered in brown leather, driver displays and a simple console with rocker switches.
Edmunds.com says: Check back with us in 40 years; this one could be just as fondly remembered then as the 917K is today. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent